Saturday, September 3, 2016

How Many Channels…

… and remote controls can one person handle? …

Fjärrkontroll, Val Av, Elektronik, Skrot
(free image from Pixabay)

That question pretty much sums up what’s been keeping me busy this past week. The building (or rather the whole estate) where I live is changing cable TV system. It’s been a couple of years since we got the fiber cable installed (for broadband); and one year has passed since I bought my own new “smart” TV. But until now, the TV has still been on another, older cable. They’ve been making the switch to fiber district by district; but now finally it’s our turn.

So last Thursday I went to collect the special TV box needed for the purpose (it belongs to the apartment rather than to me personally); and since then I’ve been pretty busy reading manuals and figuring things out again - connections and settings and options and remote control buttons etc... (Last year when I got the new TV + receiver and speakers etc, my brother set it all up for me. This time I had to figure it out for myself!)

… and then browsing the 130 channels I currently have on free trial for a month; to decide what I want to keep (and pay for)…

On the old cable I had around 16 channels – out of which I usually only watched half a dozen. Having browsed through what’s on offer now, I think I’ll probably end up with just about the same package as before. (Because  the only possibility to get the ones I most want is to get them in a package with some others that I could just as well do without!) And I’ll still have to pay quite a bit more than I used to. But, admittedly, with better visual quality + the possibility to watch online on my tablet or phone as well.

Your options will of course differ depending on where you live; but I’m curious to know: How many channels do you have? And how many of those do you normally actually watch/keep a check on?? (Considering the offers I have to choose from, I really can’t see how I could possibly ever find the time to make use of, for example, 60 different channels!)

As for remote controls, I’m now back to five... (I was down to four for a while!) So I also wonder: How much time do you think the average person usually wastes every week on pressing the wrong buttons (either on the right or on the wrong control) and then having to figure out why it didn’t give the desired result? (Sorry – I don’t have a right answer!)

… Ah well. At least now you know why I haven’t found much time for blogging this week …

16 comments:

  1. We have around 200 channels and probably watch about a dozen of them. I have the fewest number that I can get that includes the channels we regularly watch. We have 4 remotes. Two, either of which can do it, work the tv, but have to use the tv remote to access the dvd player or get to the Roku. We have a Roku remote and a remote that operates either of the DVD players, one for the USA and one is region free so we can run British DVDs.

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    1. Thanks for confirming my suspicions, Janet - i.e. that people with 200 channels probably only watch less than 10% of them anyway! I'm not sure what Roku is... Never mind, I'll find out if I need to! :)

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  2. For 2 months last year our cable provider / tv link was broken and I did not notice since I did not try to watch TV. We don't watch TV directly obviously. So this year we stopped getting cable, saving 70 dollars a month, hurray.
    We watch programs when we choose, not when they are broadcast. Netflix carries some of our favorite shows. Best of luck with your new choices.

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    1. Terra, I do still watch some TV directly even if the options keep increasing all the time now. I have also collected a lot of my favourite movies and series on DVD. But Netflix could be a contender for the future... I've not tried it yet, but I might.

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  3. I think we have over 200 channels. A couple dozen are music, so you can find your favorite kind of music or the time period you like, and it will play all day. There are probably eight or so channels we watch regularly. Plus we watch others if something good is coming on. You have your work cut out for you! WHY do you need all these remotes? We only have one! Well...one for the box and also the one that came with the T.V. (which we don't need to use). Fiber has such a good picture, sharp and clear. We have satellite now, so we have a dish outside.

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    1. Ginny, the remotes are for TV, audio system (receiver), blu-ray device (those three interact with one another but not 100%) + an older DVD-player + now also the new cable box. I may still have some discoveries to make about optimizing the settings... Or else I'll just get used to it! :)

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  4. We do not have cable TV or Netflix even though they are available in my building. We have 12 free to air TV channels and would have more if we bought a better, more modern TV set. Sometimes I watch Catch-Up TV on my computer. We regularly watch only three channels. We do not watch TV programs every night, but I like watching the news in the mornings while I eat breakfast. I like to see the news item once and when the repeats start I turn the TV off. I do not like just sitting with my eyes glued to a picture. If I watch a program then I like my hands to be busy. Sometimes I play DVDs if there is a lot of ironing to be done, if I am sick, or if I am working on a big project with boring components. We have two remotes - one for the TV and one for the DVD player. My life is simple.

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    1. Louise, in the past I used to inherit most appliances from friends and family when they updated theirs - it's only in the last couple of years that I've been able to catch up a bit with modern standard. :)

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  5. My TV does not receive by cable but by satellite dish. There are more than 200 channels, but I regularly watch about 10 different ones more or less regularly. As for remotes, I have three: one for the telly itself, one for the blueray player and one for the receiver.

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    1. Seems like my small (but world-wide!) enquiry so far confirms what I was thinking... Even those who have access to 200 channels don't usually watch more than 8-12 of them... :)

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  6. we have over 200 channels just like the others. 18 are showtime in a package and ours is split into basic, premium and HD packages. so on 100 of the channels we have 2 of them one HD and one not. the menu we pick from drives us crazy. but to have what bob wants, like sports stuff we pay for a package. and we only watch or record from about 40 of them.. we use 20 every day, the rest we put on the dvr. we have 4 remotes and last week I picked up the phone and tried to change the channel. ours is really expensive

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    1. Sandra, I think there are actually phone apps that are supposed to be able to turn the phone into an universal remote... (I've not tried any myself, though!) If I was a sports fan and wanted the special sports channels, that would cost me a lot too. Lucky for me, that's what I'm least interested in! :) My preferences are drama series, history documentaries, and house-buying/interior decoration/antiques shows - especially those that also include showing typical landscapes and towns and historical buildings and museums.

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  7. good job setting it up by yourself..

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  8. I have no idea how many channels but including radio channels probably about 150. They are free (although for the BBC in the UK we pay an annual licence fee which is mandatory if you have a television or use BBC iPlayer)and are provided by terrestrial aerial. I don't watch enough to bother with Sky and cable isn't an option on the Island. In the living room I have a remote for the TV and one for the combined TV recorder/blue-ray player. I could combine them but I'd find that even more confusing. I have a remote for the CD player too. The plugs for all my hifi etc components are hidden so I have a remote which controls all the individual sockets. I also have a remote which controls most of the lights individually. One of my more irritating habits is walking from another room with the remote for that room in my hand and leaving it in the living room with the other remotes.

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  9. Graham, I'm not convinced I'd really want One almighty remote "to control them all" either. :)

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